Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Shallow water – deep trouble

In days of dead reckoning, thick weather and a certain imprecision about where the dickens you were, the occasional grounding was easy to explain and probably attracted a good deal of comment from thoughtful seafarers, who thought “there, but the grace of God, go I”. Continue reading

Go the scenic route

Go to any coastal surveillance station and examine the tracks of shipping passing up and down. Notice anything? They are all following exactly the same track , that decreed by their computer software as being the shortest distance between their departure and arrival ports. Continue reading

“Bedding-in” ECDIS navigation

New technology always brings with it a period of adjustment, when those who have been brought up under an earlier regime have to be trained and, more importantly, become accustomed to the new equipment and systems. Continue reading

Turn left – now!

The SatNav, with its dulcet tones urging you to “take the first exit from the roundabout” and “turn around, you have made a mistake!” has , we are told, spawned a generation unable to read a map and with only a passing knowledge of geography. Continue reading

The dangers of GPS reliance

Every day that passes increases our dependence on the clever satellites of the Global Positioning System. Continue reading

Training crucial to ECDIS implementation

It is now many years since I hired a car at an airport, picked up the key, walked half a mile in the rain to find that I was unable to get the thing into reverse to get it out of the parking lot. I then had to walk back to the desk to be told that with this particular model a different technique was in place. It was easy when you knew how, but the trouble was I didn’t. Continue reading